To investigate the prevalence of Cryptococcus in droppings from captive birds in Chile, dry droppings from 113 captive birds of various species were cultured for Cryptococcus neoformans. The yeast was recovered from 17 of the 113 samples (15% [95% confidence intervals, 8.4%–21.6%]). Other yeast organisms recovered from psittacine bird droppings were Cryptococcus albidus and Cryptococcus uniguttulatus. Secreted phospholipase has been proposed as a virulence determinant in C neoformans. Phospholipase production by the egg yolk plate method, and in vitro susceptibility to fluconazole by using the disk diffusion test were performed on 17 C neoformans isolates. Two of the 17 strains (11.7%) did not produce phospholipase. Two (11.7%) were resistant to fluconazole, and 5 of 17 (29.4%) were susceptible dose-dependent. The Cryptococcus species isolated from droppings from captive birds could be potential pathogens in humans.
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